Our view

Our View editorials are opinion pieces written by Outlook staff.

The Alabama Legislature has taken on some heavy issues this year — raising the gas tax and approving a stern abortion ban.

Now it’s on to a state lottery.

Polling shows the public wants a chance to vote on it and will likely approve it. But what kind of proposal will they vote on?

The current bill which narrowly passed the Senate does not allow for the expansion of electronic gaming and gives all the proceeds to the General Fund.

The House of Representatives will soon take up the bill and is expected to amend it to give some of the funds to the Education Trust Fund. Many observers feel that will give it a better chance of being approved by voters in 2020.

It’s long past time for an Alabama lottery. We’re the only state in the Deep South without one and it is ridiculous for our citizens to spend their money in other states when it should stay here. And some of the proceeds should go to education. 

And any unfair advantage the Poarch Creek Indians may have over dog tracks if a lottery passes should be eliminated. If a lottery is approved, the Poarch Creek’s three casinos in the state could legally offer Class III games, those found in virtually any Las Vegas or Mississippi casino, if the federally protected tribe seeks a compact with the state.

Meanwhile, dog tracks with electronic gaming would be left out because Class III gaming at dog tracks is against state law. Gambling is gambling, no matter if it’s at a Poarch Creek casino or a dog track, so lawmakers should ensure fairness.